Exemptions lasting for four months had been issued prior to the coronavirus pandemic due to problems with the number of working lifts and authorised testers available to conduct the tests. The current crisis has lead to the system to shut down almost entirely.
Unlike England, Scotland and Wales where the MOT is administered by the DVSA and conducted at thousands of private authorised testing sites, the MOT in NI is only conducted through a small number of Government run sites. Prior to coronavirus it was not uncommon to have to wait months for an appointment, only for it to be cancelled.
The Stormont-based Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon told the Press Association newswire: “I have decided the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) will continue to issue temporary exemption certificates (TECs) to those vehicles, private cars, goods vehicles, trailers or motorcycles until their normal MOT date. This means a vehicle will get an exemption for one year which will bring it back into the system when there is capacity to test it”.
As CAT understands the current situation, vehicles that have had an MOT expire at any point in the last 12 months will be eligible for the extension and therefore can be taxed. However, it will not be possible to test, and therefore tax a car that has not had an MOT for longer, for example a vehicle that has been in storage that the owner wishes to return to the road, until testing resumes.